By Mark Anderson
When the United States Senate, on April 11, overcame an anticipated filibuster of gun legislation and approved a motion to proceed on consideration of S.649—the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013—things were set in motion to pursue universal background checks for all U.S. civilian firearms purchases. And since reinstating the “assault weapons” ban has not worked as a stand-alone bill and could only come about as an amendment to other legislation, broader background checks, using procedures already performed by licensed gun dealers, are considered an adequate step forward by the gun-grabbers.
These background checks would be expanded to cover areas where they are typically not performed, mainly gun-show purchases and Internet-based, intrastate purchases of firearms. Also, under S. 649 and various related bills—whose future is less certain in the House of Representatives compared to the Senate—a new grant program for somehow making schools safer from possible gun violence is being considered as well.
But, looking at the bigger picture, you know the script: A school tragedy is reported, the nation weeps, and right when emotions are at their highest point, the agenda of civilian disarmament, but never government disarmament, is slyly but promptly pushed forward—before the people have had time to shake off their emotions and think clearly.
Still, once the three-month mark came to pass, since the events on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Americans started thinking a little more rationally and their sense of urgency to, for example, back reinstatement of the assault-weapons ban cooled off considerably.
So, President Barack Obama had to hit the road to try and keep Americans emotionally-charged and use it as psychological leverage to get the American people to mentally disarm—meaning that before a heavily armed, militant state that occupies dozens of other nations could realistically convince its own people to significantly disarm in the physical sense, you first must get enough of the people to mentally reject the basic concept of principled, armed defense being carried out by civilians.
In the process, we are all supposed to forget or overlook the hard fact that our esteemed legislators have embarked on yet another quest to gradually but steadily disarm civilians, but they absolutely will not curb the nonstop armament of governments at all levels. Already armed to the teeth, the federal government pushes Department of Homeland Security grants to turn state and local police forces into quasi-military units.
While it’s possible that broader background checks might now and then delay a criminal from getting a gun—though the determined criminal will find another way to get a firearm—never once does the “gun control” debate carry over to the equally aggressive quest by our dear leaders to arm themselves with nothing less than the most sophisticated, deadly weaponry and handy high-tech surveillance tools ever invented.
So it stands to reason that American civilians—who, as the most armed people on earth, own 270M firearms of various makes, models and calibers—may have some doubts when a federal government that arms secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) armies and has killed Americans abroad keeps lecturing Americans about stopping the “wrongful use” of guns.
None of the clarion calls for more civilian disarmament, including the idea of reinstituting the federal “assault weapons” ban and getting rid of large-capacity ammo magazines, would require our modern police or the military to shrink their bloated arsenals even one iota. In a world where murder is no longer called murder if it’s caused by an “official” weapon, it’s considered a law of nature that the most militant law enforcement agencies in history, at all levels, must receive and use the latest “official” deadly toys.
And keep in mind that an “illicit” weapon could only be a non-official weapon that’s possessed or used by some mere mortal from the lowly tax-paying class.
WHEN OFFICIALS ‘GO BALLISTIC’
In the face of all this, shouldn’t the beleaguered public at least be realistically assured that those armed men and women in police uniform, and those who govern them, possess impeccable character? Well, yes, but when you consider the curious cases of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania Mayor James “Jay” Schiliro, and of Sulfur Springs, Arkansas’s new police chief, Coleman “Duke” Brackney, the notion of leaving everything to officials does not look so good.
Cigar-chomping Schiliro, 38, who was part of the mayoral coalition that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg funded to create a crusade against unofficial gun ownership, on February 21 was reportedly drunk when he “allegedly turned the Marcus Hook Police Department into a private escort agency, ordering a cop on the late-night shift to bring a 20-year-old man to his house in a marked police vehicle. He gave the man wine, then allegedly offered 20 to 30 times to perform oral sex on him,” as the Philadelphia Daily News reported.
The man repeatedly refused, so Schiliro—who, as mayor, controls the police—“started to pull out handguns, informed the man that he was ‘going to be a hostage,’ fired a 9mm bullet into the floor and said that he had ordered police to stay away from the house,” the Daily News added.
The illustrious Mr. Schiliro was charged with unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, false imprisonment, official oppression and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Yet, reportedly, the affair lasted three hours. One need not wonder for even an instant how quickly police would respond, with full force, had someone other than the mayor gone ballistic in such a fashion.
In Sulfur Springs, Chief Brackney recently landed his current job after he had murdered motorist James Ahern—according to any honest definition—following a high-speed chase some three years ago. At the time, Brackney was on duty as a cop for nearby Bella Vista, Arkansas.
“After trapping Ahern’s vehicle and then pounding on his window,” wrote respected investigative author and blogger William Norman Grigg, “Brackney shot him six times—the last time in the back. Brackney claimed that Ahern, who had a record of . . . petty offenses, including the non-crime of ‘resisting arrest,’ attempted to run him over after the chase had ended. . . . . The dash-cam video documented that Brackney was never in danger.”
Notably, Brackney was convicted for “negligent homicide,” which assumes the officer “did not intend to kill” Ahern. Brackney served his entire sentence—one month in the Benton County Jail. He was fined $1,000. The victim’s survivors received a $20,000 county settlement. And after Brackney was released, his criminal record was officially expunged.
“All that he needed . . . was a job opening—and one was soon created in Sulphur Springs,” Grigg noted.
“Sulphur Springs . . . is a town of 700 people and as chief, Brackney is the only police officer,” added KMTV Action 3 News, a CBS affiliate based in Nebraska, on March 29. Mayor Bobby Simon was quoted as saying, “The [Benton County] sheriff had no problem with him being hired. The state didn’t pull his certification. He was just as capable as any other police officer.”
Ah, so he’s “capable”—capable of murder, that is. And these are only two snippets from a vast array of official abuses of armed force and the authority behind it. Americans must come to understand that putting on a police or military uniform does not make the wearer a saint, and those we trust with official armed force cannot be allowed to shun morality for the sake of authority.
If the tax-paying public is given no choice but to tolerate a government that’s armed to the teeth and bent on controlling the globe—and if state and local authorities just accept this state of affairs so they can get grants to buy the latest weapons and install cameras at every street corner and storefront—then the citizens have no choice but to keep their skepticism high and their powder dry. And if “gun control” makes any sense at all, it should apply to armed officials themselves, first and foremost.
AMERICAN FREE PRESS urges its readers to contact their Senators and their representatives in the House (202-224-3121 or 225-3121) and keep it simple by telling them to just leave things alone and obey the Second Amendment. If that amendment means anything, it’s that it provides a principled barrier against emotional law-making. Legislation without hesitation can steamroll the people’s rights during difficult times.
The various bills to take into account besides S. 649, which was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), include: H.R. 359, H.R. 955, S. 54, S. 146, S. 374, and S. 433 and S. 443.
Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.